Holding our breath. Surgery is done and it went really well. It took a little over three hours. Exhaling. His surgeon crossed both fingers in the air and smiled as he walked out of the room to let us know things went well. His surgeon has been with Sam since he was a baby. Sam has a very special place in his heart.
Sam came out of recovery very sleepy and when he has been awake, is in a lot of pain, but overall, doing really well.
Now holding our breath again. Here’s the part I have to speak away my fears. Here the part where Sam likes to throw curve balls.
Just breathe. He is not going to have any complications. He is going to sleep well tonight. We are going to keep his pain controlled. He is going to recover quickly.
It’s been eventful. The x-rays on Sam’s hips I asked for prayer for showed no change from the x-rays he had in January. Whew. Even though the x-rays showed no change, they were really concerned about the limp he had developed after being sick. Hmmm.
When we saw his orthopedic doctor a week after his x-rays, his limp was gone so she was not concerned anymore. She was convinced he had Transient Synovitis. What the heck is that?! Apparently it’s a very common cause of hip swelling and limping in kids after a viral infection. I have four kids and this is the first I’ve heard of it.
The first line of defense is ibuprofen to help with the swelling. Of course, Sam can’t have ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is on his allergy list because of his chronic kidney disease diagnosis. In this case, his nephrologist okayed the seven day course of ibuprofen. I realized/remembered a few days in, you’re not suppose to have ibuprofen before surgery. Shoot! His procedure to see if his esophagus was strictured (narrow) was only a few days away. Oops. So many things to remember with these kind of kids! We stopped the ibuprofen until after his procedure.
His procedure went well. Unfortunately, his little esophagus was very strictured. I was told I must feel validated. I’m not so sure those were my feelings, but I am glad the procedure gave Sam relief and I wish it didn’t take a procedure to fix the issue.
The way he bounces back from sedation amazes me. I asked a nurse if this is normal and her response was a quick, definitely not. He walked out of that surgery center like nothing even happened.
He made it to school two days before things went downhill again. Per Sam’s home care nurses, he was greeted with the sweetest welcome back from his classmates, teachers, and many others. He hasn’t seen them since October. They were elated to have him back. Many of the kiddos colored Lego Superman pictures for him and wrote the kindest notes that would make anyone choke back that lump in your throat you can’t control when you feel happiness and sadness all in one.
Our Easter was nice and low key with family. The rest of the week was not so low key. We spent two nights in the hospital. Poor guy was miserable. His little esophagus was very narrow again. It’s only been a week and half since the last one! This poor kid! He had another esophageal dilation and we went home the next day with a happy boy.
There are many missing details, but it is clear Sam will need another surgery to hopefully fix the underlying problem. Something has to be done. Feeding intolerance is an issue. We had been working so hard on trying to get rid of his PICC line. We had made so much progress on his feeds. Now we are back to square one until after his surgery on 4/28. Until then, he will only be on TPN (bloodstream nutrition/food) and be out of school until he has recovered from surgery.
I loved the response I received regarding his recent events from one of Sam’s hospital nurses he had when he was a baby.
Dude definitely loves a good comeback story! The ultimate miracle.
Another. Major. Surgery. Ugh. As I said, when it comes to minor surgeries/procedures, Sam is a rock star. When it comes to major surgeries, he doesn’t have a very good track record.
This time is going to be different. This time he will not throw any curve balls. This time he will recover quickly. Thank you for believing these things with us. I can’t wait to tell you the good news a few weeks from now.
What we think was a stomach bug, hit Sam hard. He was miserable on the couch for five days. Stomach bugs do that to Sam. If it weren’t for his PICC line, he would have definitely had a hospital stay. We are thankful we were able to stay home.
As he regained strength, we were hopeful he would kick some of the symptoms still lagging. He has been mostly happy this week, but will not swallow, is continuously spitting, and retching a few times a day. All signs seem to point to a strictured esophagus. Sam has had sixty plus esophageal dilations and almost every one that wasn’t already scheduled was a phone call made by me and then a phone call from the surgery scheduler, who we are on a first name basis with, to schedule the procedure to stretch his little esophagus. I’ve been wrong. One time. And one might argue, I wasn’t completely wrong, there was a much bigger problem in that situation.
After many phone calls back and forth, we received one that gave me a sucker punch in the stomach. After Sam’s GI doctor and surgeon discussed things, they think it’s best for Sam to have the surgery that was discussed back in December. But, I thought we would only do that surgery if Sam’s feedings weren’t going well?! He had a stomach bug, not feeding intolerance! And now, we’re fairly positive he needs a dilation! Why are we jumping to the surgery!? Us, along with Sam’s home care nurses had a lot of questions.
All this being said, he has not been able to go back to school yet. Boo.
I felt icky. I don’t want him to have another major surgery. Why more pain and suffering for my sweet, innocent little boy? That afternoon, I felt scared. I felt anxious. I felt sad. I felt worried. I felt mad. I felt frustrated.
That evening, with my brain and my heart in a fog, I went through the motions. I made dinner, cleaned dinner up, started Sam’s TPN, did Sam’s nebs, gave him his evening meds, and drove to and from soccer. Most of these are things I enjoy doing. I appreciate I get these opportunities and am thankful for them. Things were weighing me down. It’s not fair he has to go through all this!
That night, I laid in bed and poured my heart to the Big Man Upstairs. I was reminded of some of His promises. He’s got this. His plans are better than mine. He is for Sam, not against him. The more I was reminded of these promises, the lighter I felt. Surprisingly, I slept very well that night.
We waited the entire day for the phone call to explain things more. I didn’t go through the motions. I wasn’t worried about the phone call that was coming. I felt peaceful. I felt calm. I felt grateful.
When the phone call did come later that afternoon, some of our questions were answered. They said Sam would be scheduled for a dilation (esophagus stretch) next week with his GI doctor and surgeon, and things that didn’t make sense, made more sense now. We are still unsure of some things, but will be able to ask more questions next week.
We were very thankful they were able to schedule the procedure for Monday morning. Prayers everything goes smoothly and more of our questions will be answered.
Without going into a lot of detail, prayers for x-rays Sam is having tomorrow morning on his hips. We feel it is something they are being overly cautious about, which isn’t a bad thing and don’t want to be wrong about our feelings.
These are only hurdles. Hurdles can be jumped over, kicked over, and tripped over, but we can still get back up a keep moving forward. And that is exactly what we will do.
Everything went well with the procedure yesterday. Sam’s esophagus was dilated (stretched) and this time, the doctor was able to pass the scope farther down. The last time, they were not able to get the scope through. Progress.
Generally, when Sam wakes up from anesthesia, he’s a champ. Not this time. Thankfully, he has been fever free and breathing on his own, but is pretty miserable and lethargic. We are hoping this is a combination of the RSV and being put under. It also doesn’t help he his culture showed he has a tracheitis on top of everything, which is not surprising for Sam.
He seems to be tolerating the Pedialyte we started yesterday. We are holding onto that!
Prayers he will tolerate his formula when we start it today. Prayers he will stop spitting and start swallowing. Prayers he will turn the corner today and we can go home!
Sam isn’t doing great, but he’s been off the oxygen most of the day and has no fever. As long as he behaves himself, they will do the procedure (esophageal dilation) tomorrow!
These kind of things are a balancing act when it comes to medically complex kids. It often comes down to a risk benefit analysis. And there are so many factors involved. We are incredibly blessed with the care team Sam has when we are here. It is evident they care so much about our sweet little boy, want to get him better and back home where he belongs.
The smiles are few and far between, but he did sit up a few times today and even played for a couple of minutes. We’ll take it! So far, it’s looking like everyone is wrong about the getting worse before getting better. They are going to be wrong.
Prayers for an uneventful evening for Sam. Pray he can continue to breath on his own and stay fever free. Prayers for the procedure tomorrow and all who will care for him.
Thank you for all the love and continued support for our family. We are truly blessed.
They were able to schedule Sam’s next procedure with his GI doctor, surgeon, and ENT for November 21st. Unfortunately, his little esophagus is seeming like it won’t wait that long.
After this last hospital stay, Sam’s respiratory doctor agreed it would be a good idea to keep him out of school until his next procedure. I get it. As much as I want Sam in school, I think the risks outweigh the benefits at the moment. We don’t need anything else on top of what’s going on medically.
Sam is really miserable right now, but we are home. His symptoms are indicating he needs another dilation. Hopefully, that’s all it is.
We called the weekend, on call GI doctor. Thankfully, instead of telling us to take him to the emergency room, she got him on the surgery schedule for Monday morning. I cannot tell you how happy I was about that. My heart was really dreading another hospital stay.
For whatever reason when Sam needs a dilation, he doesn’t tolerate his feeds. We are running Pedialyte at the lowest rate possible to hopefully keep him hydrated enough until Monday morning and avoid a hospital stay.
Please pray Sam will tolerate the Pedialyte and be able to stay home until Monday. Pray there is nothing else going on. This poor little boy could really catch a break.
Prayers for our stamina as we are tired. This fall has been hard. Prayers to calm our hearts as questions and concerns are hard to push aside right now.
I’m thankful to believe in a God who loves my little boy even more than I do, and that He will comfort and sustain all of us.
We are home and very happy to be here. What we thought would only be one night, turned into five nights. And of course, as a few of Sam’s doctors mentioned, he threw a curve ball.
Although we know what to expect, you don’t get use to hospital stays. More importantly, Sam is feeling much better. The older Sam gets, the harder it gets to be in the hospital, and all the more excited he gets when we come home.
We are now hoping he can make it two to four weeks for another esophageal dilation. His GI doctor wants Sam’s surgeon to be there, and Sam’s ENT plans to do a bronchoscopy. If you know anything about the medical world, scheduling three doctors at one time for a procedure is not an easy task. Prayers they can land on a time within the next two to three weeks. We do not want to be in the same situation we were in last week.
Thank you, thank you for all your prayers! They were definitely felt and answered.
Sam’s esophagus was barely open (esophageal stricture). This is nothing new for Sam, but it’s been a very long time since he’s needed a dilation. This is the best fixable answer we could ask for. His GI doctor dilated him and wants to dilate again in two to four weeks. Poor buddy.
Praying now he will tolerate Pedialyte. Generally, when Sam is hospitalized, the doctors want him to be successful on his home feeding regimen before we go home. We move very slow to get there. I was able to convince the docs to let him be successful on Pedialyte and let us work on the formula at home. Anything to give us a few less days in the hospital.
Now Sam just needs to turn the corner so we can get the heck out of dodge!
Thank you for all your prayers! Continued prayers Sam will turn the corner, his blood pressure will come down, and that he will not surprise us with anything else.
This poor kid! We’ve landed ourselves in the hospital again. His pulmonologist said to bring him in if his symptoms didn’t get better. We brought him in on Tuesday morning. You would think by now, I would pack a “just in case” bag, but I really didn’t think we would be staying. Wrong.
On day two, after all the lab work ups, x-rays, and an ultrasound, Sam has two different tracheitis’ and rotavirus. His medical team and I were actually happy for the rotavirus diagnosis and not something more serious. It’s always nice to have an answer and not continue, what feels like, the guessing game.
He’s being treated for the tracheitis’ and they want to rest his tummy for a few days with IV fluids. He’s still miserable, but I am confident it won’t last too long. Hopefully, we can bust this joint in the next day or two. Hospital stays do not get easier the more you have.
On a side note, his dilation went well last week. He did need to be dilated, BUT his surgeon said we could start planning Cincinnati!!!
Thanks for praying for our sweet little boy and the rest of our family.
April was not so fun in this house, but thankfully we have all recovered. Most importantly to us, Sam is okay and we kept him out of the hospital.
It started with me not feeling too great. I already tested negative for Covid earlier in the week because we knew we had been exposed. When I started feeling cruddy, I tested again. Negative. Whew.
I had several rough days. Thank you Lord for home care nursing! On a normal day with Sam, we are incredibly thankful for our home care nurses. When he gets sick, even more grateful. Add me getting sick on top of all that. Home care nurses. No words.
Sam tested negative too, but then started getting sick a few days after I was feeling cruddy. Oh shoot. He was really sick for a good six days. He was on oxygen for four days and all the home therapies we could do that aren’t legal in most homes. We did get very close to having to bring him to the hospital, but we were able to keep him home. Again, home care nurses. Priceless.
About a week later, after I had started feeling better, I couldn’t smell or taste anything. Wait a minute!?!? I went and tested again. As I suspected…positive for Covid. What?! Those of you who have experienced these symptoms of Covid can understand how annoying it is! I’m happy to say it didn’t last too long.
Sam’s pulmonologist sent a nurse to the house to test Sam. Positive. Bummer. There was a lot of praying on my part, that he would be okay and we would be able to keep him out of the hospital.
Sean tested positive. The next day he started feeling cruddy. He was all excited to be able to get some things done around the house, but he was down for the count for almost ten days.
Will and Abby both tested negative, but had to do distance learning until their quarantine was up. Have I ever mentioned how much I love distance learning? Oh yeah, cause I don’t, not even a little. Because Abby ended up testing positive, she was able to go back to school a few days before Will. I’ve stopped trying to make sense of all the Covid rules.
During all this hoopla, I found out my grandma passed away. She was ninety-five, went peacefully, and although she was dealt a hard hand of cards in life, she lived a good life. Her legacy? She loved Jesus, taught us to pray, read our Bible, and have a relationship with Jesus.
Towards the end of her life, she could barely speak. I know she recognized us when my sister and I saw her for the first time in a long time. She clearly said two of my four children’s names. It wasn’t by chance she squeezed the two names out I have fought for on my knees in prayer countless times the past four plus years. I believe it was her heart that said those two names that day.
We didn’t get to go to her funeral, but this is where technology is a blessing. Thank you to my brother-in-law who held his phone up the entire funeral service so I could “be there”.
While Sam was sick, he was scheduled to have an upper endoscopy to check on his esophagus. As we suspected, surgery needed to be rescheduled.
To recap, Sam’s last dilation was in January. His surgeon told us, when Sam can go for six months without a dilation, he’ll give us the “a-okay” to go to Cincinnati.
Tomorrow, Sam will have his rescheduled procedure. It’s been almost exactly four months since Sam’s last dilation. We are hoping and praying, he will not need to be dilated.